At its fifth annual partner and developer conference, Square Inc. on Thursday announced three new tools for software developers: Snippets API for Square Online, Loyalty API, and the Web Payments software development kit (SDK). The new tools arrive as e-commerce volume has exploded in the past year and as larger sellers account for a greater share of Square’s volume.
Snippets API, the first application programming interface for Square Online, enables developers to create online experiences that are meant to grab customers’ attention. The ability to enhance Square Online’s functionality through third-party apps ranked high atop software developers’ wish lists over the past year as e-commerce exploded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By combining Snippets API with other Square APIs, developers can create new ways for sellers to engage customers, which Square says should help increase conversion rates and build long-term customer loyalty.
Developers can use Snippets API to install apps directly onto a seller’s site by adding code to the header tags of a Web site. For example, a restaurant can create a chatbot on its Square Online site that allows customers to ask questions about the menu.
“We’re also seeing developers build new marketing tools on top of Square Online,” a Square spokesperson says by email. “Social proof [for example] enables customers to see reviews, other sales, and activity on a Square Online site, thereby generating trust and better sales for sellers.”
Fomo, a marketing platform that posts customer interaction notifications on purchases, reviews, and live traffic, used Snippets API to integrate with Square Online and reach more online sellers.
“We help our users build trust and urgency with prospective shoppers by showing that other customers are engaging with the online store in real-time—just like the online equivalent to a busy store,” Hideko Tachibana, Fomo’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “Square Online sellers can easily embed Fomo with just one click, without needing to touch any code.”
Square’s Loyalty API and Web Payments SDK have been frequently requested features by Square’s partners, developers building on Square’s platform, and the sellers they serve, Square says.
Square Loyalty API enables developers to leverage Square Loyalty rewards programs across multiple sales channels. Web Payments SDK provides a customizable online payment experience compatible with any e-commerce site. Square’s SDK also supports multiple payment methods, including ACH bank payments, which Square says will be critical as it looks to serve larger sellers.
All Square developers and partners interested in building an online payments integration can build with Web Payments SDK, which is available in all markets Square services, the company says.
The new software development tools have helped increase the number of active sellers using Square more than twofold each quarter since the beginning of 2020, the company says. Square’s gross payment volume totaled $29.8 billion in the first quarter, up 21% from the same period last year and 35% from 2019, the company reported last week. But small sellers’ dollar share of that pie remained more or less constant over the past year, at $11.6 billion, while merchants doing at least $125,000 in annual volume saw their share grow to 61% from 54% a year ago.
“Our developer platform plays a critical role in Square’s growth upmarket and serving larger sellers, which is one of Square’s fastest-growing seller segments,” says Matthew O’Connor, head of Square’s developer and partner platform, by email. “The larger the merchant, the greater the need for customization. Enabling more developers to build diverse solutions on top of our platform will become an increasingly important part of serving those unique and varied needs.”